Orthodontic treatment is a branch of dentistry that focuses mainly on teeth alignment and jaw placement in a patient's dental structure. Often, patients seeking orthodontic services have several treatment options available, depending on their orthodontist’s dental analysis and findings.

Over the years, orthodontic services have evolved from traditional methods like the use of metal braces, with additional treatment options gaining popularity among various patients. With the highly effective results guaranteed by teeth alignment treatment, you are assured of a better and healthier smile using any available treatment method.

Upon deciding to seek orthodontic treatment, you will need to schedule a consultation with a highly experienced dentist who is conversant with providing dental services. At Northridge Dentist, you will receive the best orthodontic treatment available in Northridge, California, to remedy any teeth or jaw misalignment.

Our dentists work hard to give you an unforgettable treatment experience by providing prompt, professional, and highly effective services. Moreover, we keep in touch with you even after the completion of treatment to ensure that you have a reliable dental information source.

Types of Orthodontic Services

When it comes to choosing the best dental treatment service, each patient has different needs, depending on the misalignment problem. As a result, we offer varying services that work to provide you with a wide range of options. With such facilities available to our patients, we will apply the most comfortable and practical orthodontic service to your treatment to ensure that you undergo a pleasant and thorough treatment experience. Some of the orthodontic services we offer our patients are:

  1. Metal Braces Treatment

The first Orthodontic services made available used metal braces to enable tooth realignment. Therefore, the method remains the most commonly applied option for patients seeking to undergo teeth or jaw realignment to remedy possible dental problems. Treatment using metal braces involves applying pressure on your teeth to change their positions and push them into the required spots, causing an overall change of teeth alignment.

Since the treatment used is a gradual process, you can expect to have metal braces on for a period of one and a half years to three years. However, the time frame varies among different patients, owing to unique dental structure factors that lead to a shorter or longer treatment process.

Remedies Offered by Metal Braces Services

Typically, metal braces can serve to correct several teeth conditions because of the versatility of use. Your orthodontist will apply the information that he/she obtains to manipulate your braces into an accurate position that remedies your specific dental problems. Thus, braces are beneficial in treating the following conditions:

  • Overbites

  • Crossbites

  • Underbites

  • Misaligned teeth

  • Crowded teeth

  • Tooth gaps

The placement and adjustment of these metal braces will depend on the condition that a patient has, to create an optimum position for the braces to align teeth effectively. It is crucial to identify the different parts that make up the entire appliance To understand the functionality of metal braces.

The bracket is the basis of the entire structure of your metal braces. The bracket is made of titanium, a secure metal fit for withstanding any harsh conditions like injuries or hot food and drinks without changing shape. The metal bracket provides a firm grip and a channel through which a strong and flexible metal wire is placed. The flexible wire is the muscle of the treatment, as your orthodontist will adjust it several times throughout the treatment period to push your teeth into the correct position.

Lastly, braces only become sufficient if an elastic band firmly holds the flexible wire that sits on your metal bracket. The band winds through the metal bracket extensions to restrain the flexible wire from breaking off the bracket. Thus, they ensure that treatment continues as required until the next adjustment is made. A highlight of choosing traditional metal braces as your orthodontic treatment mode is that you can customize your appearance whenever you have an adjustment appointment to change the color of your elastic bands. The color change allows you to have an individualized appearance that lets you explore several elastic band options.

Additionally, you can choose the new variation of metal braces known as self-ligating braces. The improved design provides an adjustable click feature attached to the brackets that let your dentist snap them closed to hold the wire, instead of using elastics. The main advantage of self-ligating braces is that the design of metal brackets is smaller in appearance, giving a more appealing overall look.

Self-ligating braces also apply gentle pressure to traditional braces while providing the same amount of force required to move your teeth into the correct alignment. Therefore, you will receive the same effective orthodontic treatment without experiencing extreme teeth soreness after a wire adjustment.

Lastly, self-ligating braces incorporate a unique mechanism that allows your teeth to undergo realignment without adjusting the wire for a more extended period. Subsequently, you will not have to schedule as many dentist appointments as required for regular braces treatment. The benefits work well for patients prone to traveling, working, or studying far from your dentist's clinic, as your teeth continue realigning despite fewer adjustment appointments.

Metal Braces Treatment Preparation Process

Before coming in to have your metal braces fixed, you will undergo several post-treatment procedures to study your dental alignment and teeth placement. Hence, your dentist will request you undergo several physical examinations and take some images to guide him/her when creating a suitable and unique treatment plan.

Firstly, your dentist will use unique dental clay to obtain your tooth impressions. The clay is placed on a mouthpiece that the dentist presses against your upper and lower jaw separately, to acquire the exact shape and alignment of your teeth. After some time, the clay solidifies, creating replica study models of your upper and lower jaw teeth. The study models are useful in establishing the problems to eradicate using metal braces and the exact placement of braces that your dentist will follow.

Moreover, your dentist requires X-ray images, regular photographs, and 3D images of your mouth. Such records allow him/her to study your internal dental placement and identify any underlying conditions related to your jaw. Additionally, your dentist will be able to identify teeth that have not yet emerged from your jawbone and decide whether to extract them, if they could hinder orthodontic treatment.

Based on the findings made after studying the teeth impression models and several images, you may have to undergo tooth extraction. However, the requirement is not mandatory for all patients because it depends on individual circumstances like tooth crowding. After the extraction process is complete, you will be ready for the fixing procedure.

Metal Braces Placement Process

Typically, the procedure of placing metal braces is painless and takes a relatively short time to complete. However, it is essential to note that the standard expectations always vary depending on the treatment plan laid out by your dentist. The first step involves cleaning your teeth lightly, to ensure that no plaque or discoloration is present before placing the metal braces. The dentist assistant will complete this step in s few minutes, to allow the orthodontist to proceed.

After ensuring that all teeth surfaces are clean, your dentist will apply a coat of protective dental liquid to your tooth surface and an adhering liquid to the metal bracket. The bracket then goes on top of the tooth, whereby your dentist must ensure that it is in a proper position. A UV light then dries up the adhering liquid, and the bracket rests firmly in place.

Upon repeating the process on all teeth, the dentist then fixes the adjustable metal wire and secures it using elastics or self-ligating clicks, depending on the type of braces you get. When the dentist secures the wire by closing all brackets, the procedure is complete, and you are set to begin seeing changes within a reasonable period.

After your first placement procedure, you will need to visit the clinic for several wire adjustment sessions, as guided by your dentist. Since the treatment applied is gradual, adherence to the set appointments is required to ensure that you meet your treatment goals to achieve a healthy smile eventually.

The Cost of Traditional Metal Braces

The price of obtaining metal braces treatment depends on whether you will require customized brackets and pre-treatment procedures like surgery. Thus, the price range falls between $2000 to $7000.

  1. Invisalign Orthodontic Treatment

Apart from the original metal braces, orthodontists have developed an improved treatment method that offers several advantages over the traditional metal braces procedure using Invisalign. The design applied plays the same role as other orthodontic appliances by applying force on the teeth to realign into the regular positions.

Invisalign pieces are made of a durable plastic material that fits into your teeth, creating an extra transparent layer. However, they should not fit perfectly into your teeth structures but rather should leave a correctional margin to create the required force that pushes your teeth into the margin. Once your dentist confirms that the small gap is closed, your teeth have moved into their new position. Therefore, a repetition of the strategy will get your teeth to where they should be to achieve your targeted smile.

Like metal braces, Invisalign can correct tooth misalignment caused by crossbites, overbites, and underbites. Crooked teeth can also be rectified using this orthodontic method, as long as there is enough space on your jaw to adjust the teeth into another position.

Invisalign Treatment Preparation Process

Each orthodontic service begins with a tooth placement study using impression models and X-ray images acquired during the first few appointments. Thus, you will undergo similar preparation processes to those we require for mental braces treatment to provide all the necessary information.

The first step involves obtaining a replica of your teeth using the specific dental mold that takes your teeth' shape. On top of this, your dentist requires X-ray images to observe the bone structure of your jaw and teeth.

It is necessary to provide all the images requested by the dentist, to enable an elaborate treatment plan for your case. With accurate measurements, you are assured of the precise formulation of your Invisalign plastic trays for effective treatment.

The dentist uses the study models and X-ray images to determine the dimensional figures to assign your unique Invisalign trays for effective treatment. Therefore, you can come in for another appointment to receive the plates a few days after submitting the pre-treatment information, as formulating the plastic is done quickly.

When using Invisalign, you will not undergo a lengthy placement procedure because all you need to do is wear your plastic trays. However, the dentist will take some time to train you on how to wear them properly to avoid straining your teeth. Upon understanding the necessary instructions, your treatment will begin, with the Invisalign appliances pushing your teeth about 0.3mm every two weeks.

The gradual treatment means that you will need to make adjustments to appointments regularly to ensure that you stay on track with the alignment procedure. In this case, you will receive a new set of Invisalign trays, unlike making adjustments as done in most other orthodontic services. Thus, it is critical to try and adhere to the set appointment dates, to prevent a slow treatment period.

Advantages of Invisalign Over Braces for Orthodontic Treatment

Invisalign treatment methods are gradually gaining popularity among our patients, thanks to the numerous benefits they enjoy by choosing this method. Some of them include:

The Invisalign Trays are Removable

Most patients grow weary of having orthodontic appliances stuck on their teeth, especially when eating hard foods. However, you can avert the dietary restrictions caused by delicate structures on braces because the Invisalign is removable to enhance convenience. Thus, you may choose to remove the trays when chewing on crunchy food or when taking brightly colored drinks.

Despite the advantageous feature, we advise our patients to remain keen enough to place the Invisalign back on the teeth after eating to ensure that tooth realignment continues. A failure to observe wearing your Invisalign may revert the teeth to the original position, causing a more extended treatment duration and additional costs.

The Trays are Clear for More Discreet Treatment

Invisalign treatment is an excellent choice for anyone seeking discreet orthodontic treatment because of the transparent layer that sits on your teeth. This way, you can enjoy all the treatment benefits while avoiding drawing attention to your teeth.

You Can Enjoy a Shorter Treatment Period

Wearing your Invisalign trays will lead to a shorter realignment period compared to treatment using other methods. Typically, our patients undergo Invisalign treatment for about one year before achieving the desired teeth alignment. Moreover, since the orthodontic process is accurate and retentive, your teeth are at a lower chance of reversing their positions and reverting to their old placements.

The Cost of Invisalign Services

Receiving orthodontic treatment using Invisalign may cost between $3000 to $8000, depending on the quality of the plastic material used, the need for preparation processes, and any other surgical adjustments you may have to undergo.

  1. Orthodontic Treatment Using Ceramic Braces

Another alternative to traditional metal braces is treatment using ceramic braces, for patients who want less attention to their orthodontic appliances. The mode of application is similar to the metallic braces; however, as your dentist will use brackets, a wire, and bands to hold the structure of the entire brace together. The only difference is that the brackets are made of a ceramic material to match your teeth' natural color. Additionally, the adjustable wire placed on the bracket is coated with a ceramic layer to maintain the discreet appearance that matches your teeth.

The material used to create the brackets and the wire coating may contain more than one ingredient, mainly composite elements, and the ceramic material. Consequently, the appliances are brittle and delicate to any extreme force applied. Therefore, you should exercise caution and utmost care to avoid accidents that may break your ceramic braces to avoid multiple replacement and repair appointments.

Moreover, since the ceramic braces function on the minimal force, your dentist can only make small adjustments to avoid too much power on the braces as your teeth adjust. As a result, patients should expect to undergo a more extended treatment duration than other treatment options like metal braces. Nevertheless, you will benefit from reduced tooth soreness and enjoy discreet treatment while you gradually improve your smile.

The Cost of Ceramic Braces

The price range of ceramic braces is more expensive than other orthodontic options because of the extreme skill applied when producing the custom brackets. Thus, you may pay $2000 to $8500 for the orthodontic treatment.

  1. Placement of Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are similar to regular metal braces, mainly because they are also made of metal. However, the distinction arises from the position of lingual braces during treatment and the customized brackets used. The name of this type of orthodontic treatment is coined from the braces’ location, which is placed at the back surface of your teeth. The location sets the braces directly opposite your tongue, providing an unnoticeable form of treatment. Since the brackets are always in contact with your tongue, it is essential to use custom brackets that do not have sharp corners and hooks, to avoid abrasions on the tongue.

The preparation process followed before placing the lingual braces is the same as in metal braces. Your dentist relies on tooth impression study models and X-ray images to determine the best position to put the brackets and wire.

Afterward, you will be ready for the placement procedure that involves using adherence glue to support the brackets. Because of the closeness of your gum tissue to the dentist's working area, you may have to wear a dental appliance to keep your mouth open at all times as the dentist continues to fix the brackets on all teeth.

Once the procedure is complete, you might feel slightly uncomfortable from the unfamiliar brackets and pressure on your teeth. However, the feeling will wear off after some days as your mouth adjusts to the braces. Moreover, your dentist will provide special dental wax to cover your brackets if you feel like they cause too much abrasion as you speak, to make the adjustment period more bearable.

With lingual braces, your treatment duration may last between two to three years, depending on your dentist's plan.

The Cost of Lingual Braces

Patients who decide to choose lingual braces over other treatment options are often aware of the expenses they incur because of the customized brackets required. As a result, the price falls between $5000 to $13000.

Aftercare Guidelines for Orthodontic Treatment

We offer several tips to help you adjust to your new lifestyle after beginning your orthodontic treatment. The guidelines are universal to all the discussed services, to ensure that you maintain healthy teeth and gums even as they undergo adjustments. The aftercare tips require you to:

Clean your Orthodontic Appliances Adequately

When you allow your braces or Invisalign to harbor food particles and dirt, they quickly become breeding grounds for harmful microbes that may lead to severe tooth damage. Thus, we recommend cleaning your orthodontic appliances after every meal by brushing and flossing your teeth. For Invisalign trays, run them through warm water before wearing them to remove any dirt particles.

Observe Food Restriction Guidelines

Your dentist will prohibit you from eating hard and crunchy foods during treatment, from avoiding damaging your braces. Therefore, you should avoid candy, hard ice, and other tough foods that may break your brackets and wires. We recommend following these regulations to avoid bearing additional costs for the repair or replacement of damaged brackets.

Attend Adjustment Appointments

One of the main reasons why Orthodontic treatment lasts for too long in most cases is because patients fail to attend set appointments. Your dentist sets the dates based on projected adjustments to align your teeth consistently. Thus, a failure to observe the set appointment dates may cause your teeth to revert and shift into old placements because they do not receive consistent pressure to align from your braces or Invisalign.

Available Payment Plans

We acknowledge that most of the discussed orthodontic services available are affordable, but it may be difficult to pay at once. Therefore, we are open to incorporating a payment plan specifically designed to suit your needs. We encourage our patients to discuss the available options before beginning treatment to create a friendly and reasonable method. Our primary objective is beginning treatment to ensure that your health comes first. Thus, we are happy to start orthodontic services as soon as an agreed deposit is paid.

Alternatively, you can use your medical insurance scheme to cover a significant amount of costs and ease financial obligations. After authorization from your insurance company, you can worry less about payment for the orthodontic services you receive, as treatment continues seamlessly.

Find a Dentist Near Me

Having your teeth and jawbone well-aligned relieves you of being self-conscious and improves your dental health significantly. Therefore, seeking orthodontic services sets you on the right path to achieving a beautiful smile by adjusting your dental structure into the correct position.

At Northridge Dentist, we offer exceptional orthodontic treatment to all our patients seeking to improve their smiles. With our many years of experience in the field, you can count on us to provide effective dental treatment to satisfy your needs. Give us a call today at 818-875-0216 to begin treatment.